Attorney General Adam Laxalt kicks off his campaign for Governor of Nevada today, almost exactly a year after the voters he wants to represent passed a ballot initiative to require background checks on all gun sales. The new law still hasn’t been enforced.
Ahead of last year’s election, Attorney General Laxalt made it clear that he opposed the background check initiative, even starring in a gun lobby ad urging people to vote no. But Nevada voters passed the background check law and gave the Attorney General a job to do. With the new law still unenforced almost a full year later, here is a question for Attorney General Laxalt – Nevada’s top law enforcement officer – as he seeks the state’s highest office:
Nevada voters passed a law to prevent individuals that can’t pass a background check from buying guns in Nevada. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, what do you plan to do to help the governor implement the Background Check Law?
Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on most gun sales, but a loophole exists allowing unlicensed sales, including sales online and at gun shows, to take place without background checks. Nevada’s background check initiative, which voters approved last November with a majority of votes, closed that loophole. Eighteen other states have passed similar laws and see fewer gun deaths among law enforcement and victims of domestic violence, as well as fewer suicides by firearm, than states that have not closed the loophole.
A lawsuit has been filed against the Governor and Laxalt over their refusal to implement the successful background check initiative, which closed the loophole for unlicensed sales and requires background checks on all gun sales in the state, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting and self-defense.
In October, Everytown for Gun Safety released video footage recorded at a Nevada gun show in which a private investigator licensed in Nevada was able to purchase multiple firearms without background checks – including rifles similar to those recovered with the Mandalay Bay shooter. The footage, recorded just six days after Las Vegas experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, made clear that it remains easy to buy a gun without a background check in Nevada.
If you have any questions on any of this, please don’t hesitate to reach out.